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July 2003

Opinion: It's time to teach the consequences of hacking

Where's McGruff the Crime Dog when we need him? While the overcoat-clad canine is warning of the threat of strangers and the dangers of drugs, he's virtually ignoring the plague of youth hacking. OK, McGruff and his friends at National Crime Prevention Council do provide valuable information to parents on the Internet threats to their children's safety. It's common sense to keep an eye on children's Internet habits to make sure they're not surfing for porn, chatting with pedophiles and swapping copyrighted material. But there are hardly any tips on the warning signs that your children are hacking. Nary a day goes by without a teenage script-kiddie or college computer science student getting into hot water because of their hacking or experimentation with hacking tools. The degree of hacking sophistication varies wildly, but the pervasiveness of the problem is increasing exponentially. Take the case of Clint W. Triou, a 17-year-old junior at Marion High School in a school district near Rochester, N.Y. Though quiet, he is described...

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